Agent Orange: The woman trying to get justice for herself and hundreds of thousands of victims

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  • The Telegraph published this video item, entitled “Agent Orange: The woman trying to get justice for herself and hundreds of thousands of victims” – below is their description.

    On Monday, a French court could make Tran To Nga the first Vietnamese civilian to be recognised as a victim of Agent Orange, a highly toxic herbicide sprayed by US troops during the Vietnam war.

    She has sued 14 of the multinationals which sold Agent Orange to the US during the war, including Monsanto, now owned by German giant Bayer, and Dow Chemical.


    A verdict in Ms Tran’s favour could set a legal precedent and pave the way for more civilian lawsuits. It could also see her awarded tens of thousands of euros in damages.


    NGOs also hope it will bolster a growing drive to pressure states to recognise “ecocide” as an international crime on par with genocide and crimes against humanity. The Vietnam war is considered by legal experts as one of first examples of ecocide – the systematic destruction of the environment – in recent memory.


    The US military sprayed an estimated 76 million litres (20 million gallons) of Agent Orange between 1961 and 1971 to destroy tree cover and crops used by fighters. Almost 20 per cent of Vietnam’s forests were affected by the chemical.


    But the chemical warfare technique also had devastating, long-lasting effects on civilians in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia and their descendants.


    The herbicide contains dioxin, a powerful endocrine disruptor and one of the most toxic chemicals known to humans, according to the United Nations.


    Up to one million people currently have health issues or disabilities associated with Agent Orange, including 100,000 children, according to the Vietnamese Red Cross citing local studies.

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